Robert’s Space Industries put out a news post today, and boy howdy was it refreshing. In case you aren’t familiar, RSI is, for all intent and purposes, a “front” for their crowd sourced game, Star Citizen. Leader of the Project is Chris Roberts, one of the major forces and creative minds behind the major cult PC game Freelancer.
Freelancer itself was a great game that garnered quite the following. A free form space exploration/combat/trading game with customizable ships, major star ports, random encounters, and full 360 degree combat. It didn’t sell well at release, but large communities of players can be found today, to the point where a multiplayer mod was created by the fans. And when the crowd sourcing for a “spiritual successor” was announced, fans came and poured their money into the project, exceeding its goal of two million dollars almost for times over. The tally of support is currently at seven and a half million dollars, and climbing.
Here’s what Chris had to say
Well, it’s plain enough to see. Chris’ desire for the game seemed simple on the surface, but grows more complex as you think about it. He states that he wants the world to feel alive. This doesn’t just mean voiced dialog, pretty textures and lighting, and freedom. He wants to see the universe in the game evolve and expand. Empires rising and falling, territory expanding and shrinking. A truly living, breathing world, spanning light years. A massive undertaking to be sure, but with the funding the project has received, and the minds behind it, this could be a distinct possibility.
The next thing he said sent me into a happiness spiral. Chris began to talk about difficulty. I for one am, well…not a masochist. I don’t want a game to slap me down for hours until I’m begging for an easier difficulty. But I enjoy it when a game gives me tools and options to work around roadblocks and difficult challenges. Where player skill takes the fore, instead of unlimited reloads and lots of patience.
Citing games like Demon’s Souls, and Privateer, he explains, “There were no mid mission saves. This created a sense of anxiety towards the end of the mission if you were badly damaged and your shields were low, but if you managed to limp home successfully, you felt a sense of accomplishment.” That’s what I look for when I play a game. Not an achievement, not a shiny new upgrade. The sensation of triumphing against all odds, and becoming a better player because of it.
When is it out? When? WHEN!?
No word on the game’s release yet, as the crowd sourcing is ongoing, but hopefully we’ll know soon. I can’t wait till it’s finished, but I have no desire to try and tell RSI to “hurry it up.” I’ve seen way too many games rushed out to meet hype and it doesn’t end well. All I can say for sure is with the way things seem to be shaping up, Star Citizen looks like it might be one crazy and awesome game. I’ll hopefully be adding my own bit of dosh soon, as this is something I definitely want to be a part of.